[CONTINUE FROM ABOVE]
Finally, we can get down to the nitty-gritty.
Indeed. And faith is quite logical, if you actually accept what we know about the universe.
Originally Posted by Nicato
There are not two ways about it, either something is logical or it is illogical. There is no middle ground.
If something is either logical or illogical, then if your god is logical, a lack thereof is not. In other words, according to you, I am being illogical. This is very important, because it comes into conflicts with your previous notion that there are two separate but equal ways of understanding. Either something is logical or it isn't; finally, we can start having an honest debate.
You can't seem to swallow the fact that for all your posturing, the very tenant of your argument against First Cause defies the very laws you claim to champion.
If the Big Bang marked the beginning of space and time, what does it mean to say that there was something "before" the Big Bang if we have no sense of time with which to assert a "before" and no space for that something to occupy? The answer is that it should mean little if anything, and as a consequence of that realization, no first-cause is required. Swallow that.
Of course, we ultimately do not know (and perhaps cannot know) if similar rules of space and time applied "before" the universe was birthed--but that is exactly the point: we don't know. There is no more reason to reject or accept that hypothesis as there is yours . You are right to assert that your god hypothesis is no more absurd than a chance hypothesis--they are in fact equally absurd and thus equally plausible (though NOT equally probable
). This is why we are simply in no position to make any definitive claims as to the birth of the universe. Simply put, any leaning toward one non-exhaustive conclusion over another cannot be considered logical, by any measure, only arbitrary favoritism.
God need not be bound by the laws of this universe. That's why he's God.
You've noticed that I referred to your god as "your god" but did you ever think about why? It is, in part, because your
god is distinct from all other gods; and because there is mutual incompatibility between most gods, not every one can logically exist. Now, by what process do we go about filtering out all impossible gods? What ever the answer is, we certain can't rely on the vacant claims of their adherents. That your god "need not be bound by the laws of this universe" is no more convincing than the god which need not reveal itself lest we all be incinerated. You are relying on rhetoric, rather than positive evidence, to defend your belief and this is a fallacious circle of reason.
Here is your argument in the abstract:
1. X is not bound the the laws of Y.
2. The laws of Y dictate that everything--except that which caused Y--has a cause.
3. Therefore, X caused Y.
The problems here should be apparent. Your premise (1) has not been demonstrated (because it is in principle indemonstrable) and (3) doesn't necessarily follow from (2). I would go further by pointing out that the exception in (2) hasn't been demonstrated and that by your own admission, there is no positive evidence for the existence of X, but I'll keep it to the previous two problems for fear of misrepresentation of the the specifics of your argument. And please, if you think I've misrepresented you argument in this example, feel free to outline the correct schema for me, specifics included.
In the meantime, ask yourself why you don't find the following arguments convincing:
1. Ghosts are invisible.
2. I can't see ghosts.
3. Therefore, ghosts exist.
EDITED TO ADD:
1. God is love.
2. Love exists.
3. Therefore, God exists.
I can agree with that, save for the "aimless" part.
Originally Posted by Nicato
Even if it was an intelligent designer which gave birth to said natural world, there is pretty much no denying that we exist only because of a long, if aimless, sequence of events which occurred inside of it.
Yeah, you're going to have to elaborate.
(1) God created the universe specifically with the existence of humans in mind.
(2) God created the universe for the purposes of life in general (not specifically our species).
(3) God created the universe with the intent to be as it is now.
(4) God created the universe, created the laws which governed it, and went on about its business.
If (1) then what up with the dinosaurs? I mean, what was the purpose of that little exercise if the real purpose of the universe was for our benefit? Indeed, why should we have evolve it all?
If (2) then how do you account for the gratuitous amount of stuff in the universe? If the existence of life was in mind, then why did it take billions of years to come to fruition? Why are their billions upon billions of planets which (presumably) lack the conditions for life? You don't even have to think of it in terms of planets when you have light-years upon lightyears of space. Just empty space, sitting around doing nothing. If your creator had life as its objective, then the model currently running is terribly inefficient.
If (3) then where, in the cosmological history of the universe, is there evidence of planning? Asteroids randomly collide with planets, galaxies randomly collide with galaxies, entire solar systems are swallowed by black holes, and ultimately the whole thing is going to expand so far as to make the exercise pointless.
If (4) then the long sequence of events were, in fact, aimless.
 And let's get real, when you are making an objective claim about the universe, you are
positing a scientific hypothesis (even according to NOMA doctrine)--especially if you use scientific knowledge to back up your claim. If you are found to be right, then God's existence would naturally become a part of the foundation of the sciences, ipso facto.